This year though, it was slim pickings, with foul weather (2 weeks of strong winds, a sudden temperature drop, and daily rain in early March, followed by about 3-4 weeks of similar weather but with much more rain in mid-April) blasting away much of the foliage off the trees. Critically, most of the red leaves were removed, along with half of the orange ones, leaving many trees either anemic-looking or without the rich punchy colours that come with having a mix of different coloured leaves up on the branches. Nevertheless, here are some shots from the first half of autumn that I managed to get.
I particularly love shooting backlit leaves (as many regular readers of this blog will no doubt have noticed), since they take on this extra magical glowing quality, as well as rendering those in the background in gooey bokeh. That kind of blurry/fluffy look for trees is similar to those seen in Geri's Game - perhaps the first short that really brought Pixar to my attention; I remember seeing it being played on all the TV's in the Harvey Norman store and wondering how they managed to achieve that real-looking yet clearly caricatured look (at the time, I thought they might've been using some kind of neat stop-motion techniques or something, since it was clearly not 2D animated, yet the human characters clearly couldn't have been real either).
March - Shopping Centres
The Bunnings/Tower Junction open-air mall is one of our frequent haunts. In particular, these days, mum has taken a liking to Ezybuy (to the point that I've affectionately given it a cute little direct-translation name), where she is now a VIP member and gets a "best customer" discount ;) Most notable though is that their landscaping features many small trees which put on a very colourful display in autumn. (Incidentally, some of their other landscaping features - namely, the cabbage trees - have shown me that cabbage tree flowers absolutely reek, especially early in the season, as they smell like some nasty concoction of cat poo mixed with dog poo brewed with the leftover sludge from the wastewater treatment plant's oxidation ponds).
The trees surrounding Riccarton Mall are also quite a sight - especially those in the front carpark, which glow reddish-orange (it's a pity though that to date I haven't managed to get a good shot of those).
April - Uni Campus
Before the weather turned and/or my workload plunged into madness, I only managed to get some shots of the trees on campus one afternoon (when I went back to hand back the fully-graded set of assignments I'd been helping to mark - this is worth another story another day, though I probably need to be a bit careful what I write about that publicly, given the slightly sensitive nature of these things sometimes).
Nevertheless, over the week or so leading up to this excursion, I had been collecting a bunch of different sights that I knew I wanted to capture. The question was whether they would still be there when I got around to photographing them, and also whether I'd be able to get the shot I wanted (since I mostly spied these from the passenger side while in a moving car - in other words, I'd likely need to be standing in the middle of the road at the right time of day to get the shots I'd want... a pretty dangerous proposition, and one that doesn't mesh up when I need to be driving myself around that day for something like this to work). So, it transpired that I ended up trekking right across and back and forth across campus with my camera, visiting each site in turn. Here are the results...
A more vibrant view of the same trees
Backlit golden glory. I really like these two shots, and how the light is nice and glowy here...
The view across the road. Some more backlit trees here...
March - Out and About
To finish up, here are a few other shots of autumnal foliage around Christchurch. None are quite as spectacular as the other examples though...
South Hagley Park
Whiteleigh Ave - Sunset
Golden backlit leaves in the setting autumn sun
The daily TransAlpine train service, arriving from Greymouth
Yeah, this isn't quite foliage, but it's a nice sunset shot down the train tracks...
North Hagley Park
One Sunday mid-March, we had a nice relaxing walk through North Hagley Park. After discovering the joys of walking around there on Sunday afternoons a few years back (surprising, since we've lived here for decades) it's something that's always nice to do from time to time to get some fresh air and get a good stretch after a week of sitting around bashing a keyboard like a madman.
Victoria Lake - Nearby, the cargo bikers club seemed to be having a bit of a meetup event